Bollards are utilized in a multitude of applications, for one of various purposes. One needs just to keep a sharp eye to see bollards around us each day. In parking lots, driveways, and drive-thru lanes, bollards are utilized to protect buildings, teller machines, utilities including gas meters, electrical equipment and fire hydrants, handicap parking signs, gate entry keypads, and to restrict access to undesired areas. In factories and warehouses, bollards are essential for safeguarding pedestrians along with guarding storage racks and capital equipment from fork truck collisions.
Other industries which locate a heavy utilization of commercial bollards include automated car wash facilities, self-storage facilities, gasoline stations and convenience stores, propane dispensing, and parking garages, among others.
Foundation mounted bollards are usually set up in one of two ways. The initial, most affordable way, is to use a plate mounted bollard. These bollards are steel pipes welded to some flat steel plate that may be anchored to a hard surface using concrete anchors. This technique of installation is fast and inexpensive, requiring the installer to drill four to eight holes in the concrete and bolt on the bollard with expansion or screw anchors.
The down-side for this installation method, when used with a rigid bollard, would be that the anchors are generally not strong enough to stand up to anything greater than a minor collision. The plate anchors often are pulled up and maybe the plate bends, leaving a post which leans and has stopped being capable of properly serve its purpose. Plate mounted bollards often require constant maintenance and replacement.
The next technique for installing bollards involves utilizing a longer steel pipe and burying a part from it deep in the earth. This process affords the bollard far more strength than surface mounted, however it could be extremely expensive to put in when the surface is concrete and already poured. Installation in this instance requires coring a hole within the surface using an expensive diamond bladed coring saw. These appliances along with their blades are expensive and require water cooling, developing a mess during installation. When the concrete is cored as well as the bollard is in place, the hole should be backfilled with concrete to secure the bollard. For more strength, these bollards are often filled with concrete, also. Though the bollard pipe is relatively inexpensive, this installation technique is costly and time-consuming.
Although quite strong, there are significant disadvantages to core installations. Most importantly, there is absolutely no give to this system upon impact. Though desired in high security applications, any vehicle impacting such a bollard will likely be significantly damaged and its passengers vulnerable to injury. Loads carried by fork trucks can also be thrown because of the jarring impact likely to occur. Further, the bollard or its foundation could be damaged by such an impact, again leaving a tilted and fewer effective barrier requiring costly maintenance to improve. Often the steel bollard itself is beyond repair and must be replaced with the entirely new bollard.
Another disadvantage of this kind of installation is that it is actually a permanent installation with little flexibility for movement. In factory applications, devices are often moved and rearranged. Bollards used to protect equipment or storage racks which are core-installed are not easily moved. The concrete around the bollard has to be broken out and the large remaining hole filled, leaving a factory floor packed with unsightly patches. When the bollard itself is reusable after removal, the entire expensive installation process is started over at the new location.
Some designs have been created to try to solve these issues through the use of plastic or spring loaded bollards, however these designs suffer from too little strength. If the plastic is of insufficient stiffness, the complete purpose of access denial is lost. On the contrary, very stiff plastic designs have had difficulty with long-term durability. Minor collisions often wear away at such devices, as well as in outdoor applications UV degradation turns into a concern.
Designed and patented in Europe by Belgian inventor Gerard Wolters is really a unique system which solves most of the problems connected with traditional foundation mounted bollards. To put it simply, the device works with a compressed rubber base to act being an energy absorbing mass. This elastomer allows the bollard to tilt slightly when impacted, in all the different 20 degrees from vertical, then return upright while still stopping the colliding vehicle.
This method is mounted on concrete using concrete anchor screws. These anchors affix the base component over the adapter, which pre-compresses the elastomer from the ground. The base and adapter pieces are made from a special ductile cast iron, making the pieces less brittle than typical cast iron, and also has an extremely low (-40 degrees) brittleness temperature. The steel pipe which functions as the bollard post is really a typical steel pipe inserted to the adapter. Standard pipe is used to offer the conclusion user the flexibleness to weld fencing using standard components if necessary. Concrete fill is not needed in the bollard pipe, though is permitted. In reality, sign posts could be inserted into the post and concrete filled in place.
Upon collision, the pipe and adapter are permitted to tilt in the base, forcing the adapter to advance compress the elastomer in the direction of the impact. The elastomer absorbs a lot of the energy in the impact and lengthens the deceleration period of the car. The elastomer is of sufficient strength to then rebound, usually pushing the car out of the bollard and going back to an upright position. The tilt in the pipe has limitations to approximately 20 degrees after which the bollard can become rigid.
Bollards are designed in a number of sizes, each of which is appropriate for various expected collision speeds and masses. Further, modular connectors which could be used to create fencing and guards out of multiple base units have already been developed to eliminate welding. By using multiple base units, the ultimate strength of the rebounding bollard unit can be increased.
These new bollards make use of the much easier method of surface installation, greatly reducing installation costs, while keeping the flexibility to go bollards as conditions warrant. This can be accomplished without the normal drawback to absence of strength, as the elastomer within the bollard system greatly decreases the maximum impact forces placed on the base anchors. The reason being deceleration of an impacting vehicle is much less severe than throughout an impact having a rigid bollard. Energy is transferred to the elastomer as opposed to straight to a rigid post, lowering the harsh impact of any relatively immovable object.
This leads right to the most important benefits of the newest bollard system and that is the decrease in injury to both offending vehicles and to the bollard system itself. Direct harm to vehicles is reduced due to the decrease in peak impact force seen from the vehicle. This will not only avoid damage to the car, but also the probability of trouble for a passenger is likewise reduced. In the case of a fork lift in a factory or warehouse, the possibility of a thrown load is also reduced, avoiding the potential for bystander injury and stock loss.
Finally, injury to the bollard and its foundation is reduced. As the post is constructed of strong steel pipe, it maintains its strength, but because of its forgiving nature, a lot less force is moved to the cornerstone. This simplifies and eliminates maintenance while preserving an aesthetically pleasing facility.
These bollards should be set up on concrete, as an asphalt surface is not of adequate strength to anchor the bollard system. Considering the replacement costs of damaged bollards, however, it might be economical to pour a concrete pad and eliminate years of costly maintenance and asphalt repair. As earlier mentioned, each bollard is sized for expected loads with regards to mass and speed. Should that limitation be exceeded, it is possible to break a element of the system. Probably that involves the post, adapter, or base. Fortunately, the device is modular and easily repaired. Posts can be replaced by loosening several set-screws, wwbpkl and replacing, and re-tightening the set screws. Adapter and Base components may be replaced by carefully eliminating the concrete screw anchors and replacing the component.
The SlowStop Bollard system is a revolutionary cool product which solves many of the problems involved with bollard collisions along with installation and maintenance issues. Injury to vehicles, passengers, vehicle loads, and also the removable bollard sleeve themselves is cut down tremendously due to the absorption of impact energy by an elastomer hidden inside the bottom of the bollard. This elastomer allows the bollard to tilt when impacted and return upright afterward. SlowStop Bollards are quick and inexpensive to set up, flexible as they are easily moved, and uncomplicated to maintain should there be the necessity. Safety fencing and barriers are easily created using modular connectors, avoiding the necessity to weld pipe together.